July 23rd, 2014

As previously reported, Microsoft announced that it is cutting 18,000 jobs within the next year, starting with 13,000 of them within the next six months.

CEO Satya Nadella laid out the plans in an email to staff, which the company also made available to the public. He said more details would be forthcoming at the company’s earnings call next week. Read the rest of this entry »

June 16th, 2014

I worry sometimes that the automatic update on my Windows 8 system isn’t working properly and that I’m expose to viruses and malware. Is there a fast way I can check to see if there are any pending Win8 windows updates?

While I haven’t had any problems with the automatic update feature in Windows 8.1, I think it’s smart for you to do an occasional spot check because, well, sometimes things are scheduled for a specific time of the week and if your computer’s not on during that period of time then the update’s missed until the following week. If it’s a laptop that can accumulate and you can certainly be weeks and weeks behind, which does open up some vulnerabilities on your system. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12th, 2014

Most of the time the applications shown on the Start Menu are exactly what I need to run, but I’d like to have a few “pinned” or locked. Is that possible, and if so how do I pin a program onto the Windows 7 Start Menu? Read the rest of this entry »

April 22nd, 2014

Windows XP is nowofficially dead. Earlier this week Microsoft officially ended support for the OS, which had become one of the most popular in history.

PC manufacturers had hoped that the death of XP would fuel sales of new computers as consumers and businesses looked to upgrade their machines to run Windows 7 or Windows 8. Now the numbers are in and it’s clear that Windows XP has contributed to PC sales, if only a bit.

Market research firm IDC today released its first-quarter 2014 PC shipment estimates. The firm estimates that 73.4 million PCs were shipped this year through march. This represents a 4.4% decline in PC sales from the first quarter of 2013.

Despite the continuing decline of the PC market, IDC points out that this 4.4% decline is less than the expected decline of 5.3%. The firm attributes this better-than-expected result to the death of XP. Shipment numbers in mature markets, and in Japan in particular, were bettered by Windows XP infrastructure upgrades. Even so, the boost from Windows XP upgrades will likely be short-term and is not enough to reverse the declining growth of the traditional PC industry.

“PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the first quarter, said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for Personal Computing at IDC. “However, the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward. A rebound in consumer or a continuation of accelerated commercial upgrades could boost growth slightly, but low demand for upgrades in general combined with competition from tablets and 2-in-1 systems limit the growth potential.”

Despite the continued decline of the overall PC market, top brands did see their first quarter shipments rise in 2014. Lenovo once again saw the largest growth in the industry with a 10.5% year-over-year shipment increase to nearly 13 million shipped PCs during the first quarter. HP is now following with 12.6 million units shipped during the first quarter, a 4.7% increase over 2013 shipments.

Image via Lenovo

March 24th, 2014

In terms of the overall smartphone market, Windows Phone holds only a tiny fraction of the world’s market share. Android and iOS continue to dominate smartphone shipments, as Apple’s brand continues to draw customers in mature markets and Samsung floods the world with smartphones of all prices and sizes.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 3rd, 2014

Windows 8 wasn’t the renaissance Microsoft hoped it would be. Sure, the total number of Windows 8 users steadily increases every month, but it has no chance of toppling Windows 7 at this point. One reason for that is that consumers don’t want to pay $100 or more to upgrade. Microsoft might soon be remedying this.
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February 10th, 2014

Windows 8 was a mess, but Windows 8.1 pretty much fixed all of the problems that people had with the radically different OS. One of those fixes was adding in an option that allowed users to boot to desktop therefore bypassing the tiled “metro” interface entirely. Now it appears that Microsoft may be making this option the default setting.
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January 17th, 2014

Here’s a scenario – you find yourself in Rome after a week long party across Europe that has left you lost and alone. You can book a room for the night, but you don’t know any Italian. Good thing you have your Windows Phone on your person with an updated Bing Translator app.
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December 5th, 2013

Microsoft was one of the first to the digital note taking game with OneNote. Now it’s just one of many in an ever growing field of apps that allow one to document their lives via short notes. How is Microsoft going to compete?
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November 11th, 2013

I don’t know what I did in Windows 8.1, Dave, but suddenly I have these annoying “Switch between apps” windows on screen. I’m on a PC desktop so I don’t even have a touch screen, but it’s sure convinced I do and just am not using it right. They’re also incredibly persistent, overlaying the desktop, apps, etc. HOW DO I GET RID OF THEM????
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